Toil and Trouble



Toil and Trouble: A Women’s History of the Occult by Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson

Hardcover – Quirk Books – Oct 2022 – 287 pages

A celebration of magical women and nonbinary people in American history, from Salem to WitchTok

Meet the mystical women and nonbinary people from US history who found strength through the supernatural–and those who are still foreign the way today. From the celebrity spirit mediums of the nineteenth century to contemporary activist witches hexing the patriarchy, these icons have long used magic and mysticism to seize the power they’re so often denied.

Organized around different approaches women in particular have taken to the occult over the decades–using the supernatural for political gain, seeking fame and fortune as spiritual practitioners, embracing their witchy identities, and more–this book shines a light on under appreciated magical pioneers, including:

  • Dion Fortune, who tried to marshal a magical army against Adolf Hitler
  • Bri Luna, the Hoodwitch, social media star and serious magical practitioner
  • Joan Quigley, personal psychic to Nancy Reagan
  • Marie Laveau, voodoo queen of New Orleans
  • Elvira, queer goth sex symbol who defied the Satanic Panic
  • And many more!


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